i think we’ve established that the so-called american dream is a myth, yes? that not everyone (in fact, hardly anyone) can conceivably pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become a billionaire with a tax shelter on an island someplace? that, in fact, most people dream about being able to make ends meet each month–and that this is in no way because they aren’t working hard enough?
great. now let’s talk about entitlement.
“entitlement” is oftentimes used in conjunction with the word “attitude” by white, middle-class-and-higher, middle-aged-and-older people with desk jobs to describe an invisible aura that allegedly emanates from any marginalized person. this aura is characterized by a desire, whether expressed vocally or not, to have access to things like food and running water and electricity and a living wage and, perhaps, even affordable healthcare. as though they deserve these things for merely existing. *scoff*
entitlement is rarely used to describe the attitude held by people who already have food, water, electricity, a living wage, and healthcare: that they are the *only* people who deserve these things; that having these things is a badge of honor bestowed on them by Capitalism for being hard-working, not taking into account the circumstances that made these things accessible to them because ha! that’s not the way things work.
entitlement is rarely used to describe people who are able to pay taxes, but feel that they shouldn’t have to pay for social programs because they don’t need them. we don’t call someone “entitled” for having the means to help other people and better their community but choosing to spout “man is an island” rhetoric and blame the institutionally oppressed for their own oppression.
but, really. who is entitled? people whose circumstances afford them better access and opportunity to succeed in a life-game already fixed in their favor, but want to be exempt from helping other people if it doesn’t give them a tax credit? or people whose odds in the game are unfavorable simply because they exist?
feminism is indeed a class issue. feminism is aimed, in so many ways, at those of us whose circumstances allow us the ability to be concerned about sexism and gender inequality. but classism is also a feminist issue.
all humans deserve food, water, shelter, access to healthcare, education, freedom from violence, simply because they are human.